The Women’s Intersport Network (WIN) for Columbia will host its annual awards luncheon Feb. 5 at Southwell Complex at Columbia College. The luncheon will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. At the luncheon, various awards are presented to local female athletes, teams and coaches. Katrina Adams, Chairman of the Board & President of the United States Tennis Association, will be guest speaking.
“The luncheon is open to the public with a purchase of a ticket to the event,” WIN President Deborah Marshall said. “The athletes are nominated by community members and with a nomination they can attend the luncheon.”
There are 10 awards in total, which range from “Youth Athlete of the Year” to “Mentor of the Year.” A complete list of previous award winners and all categories can be found here.
“The winners are selected by membership votes,” Marshall said. “The process is pretty simple and usually takes a few months to put together.”
In past years, RBHS’ student athletes and coaches were selected winners. Additionally, some RBHS female athletes will be greeters for the event. The girls’ tennis team, for example, won the WINner’s Choice Award in 2018. Junior Corinne Farid, a tennis player on the award winning team last year, first learned about the network from her coach.
Senior Piper Osman, who will be a greeter at the luncheon, heard about WIN for Columbia during her sophomore year after the swimming and diving team won state the previous year.
“I’m excited to see what collegiate female athletes will be in attendance this year,” Osman said. “Karissa [Schweizer] has been in the past but she graduated. I’m looking forward to seeing newer faces this year.”
Awarding young, female athletes like Farid and Osman was a tradition starting from 1994. The program began to encourage athletes and those interested in physical fitness, according to the WIN for Columbia website. The Network urges its members to mentor young women and provides opportunities to learn from professional women in the physical fitness and athletic industry. WIN for Columbia’s Board of Directors assists and guides the mission and operations of the network.
“[The main purpose and goal of the luncheon is] to recognize female athletes in our area in conjunction with National Girls and Women in Sports Day which started in 1987,” Marshall said. “It is a special event because we have so many hard-working talented female athletes in our area and it is important to showcase those talents to our community.”
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